Add flavor to your food and boost your immune system with seasonal fruits this winter.
Many people think of fresh fruit during the summer, but there are nutritious, low calorie and fat free fruits at their peak this time of year, too, registered dietitian Carrie Miller of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Douglas and Sarpy County Extension said.
Winter seasonal foods, such as citrus fruit, contain antioxidants and vitamins. Add these fruits to a glass of water to make it more appealing, increase consumption and reduce risk of hydration, Miller said.
“It’s important to add water to our diets, especially in the winter. Ice water is more appealing in the summer when you’re hot, but with the drier air, it’s better for your skin, your hair and nails to make an effort to stay hydrated,” she said.
Seasonal produce also offers a high quality food at a low cost.
“When foods are in season, they’re going to be better quality and better taste,” Miller said. “It will also be lower in cost, because there’s more of it, more to push out of the store.”
Replace common summer fruits with the following three winter fruits and incorporate them into wintertime cooking.
Replace berries with CITRUS
including oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes
>> High in vitamin C, which helps improve immunity, reducing duration and severity cold and flu viruses
>> Cut in wedges or eat it off the peel; add fruit or juice to salads, entrées and glasses of water
>> A medium-sized orange contains 70 milligrams of vitamin C, or 117 percent of an adult daily value, and one-half of a medium grapefruit contains 39 milligrams or 65 percent of an adult daily value.
Replace peaches with PEARS
>> High in fiber, which makes us feel full faster and for longer; also a good source of vitamin C
>> Slice or eat off the core; add to fruit salads, leafy green salads, sandwiches or smoothies
>> A medium-sized pear contains 6 grams of fiber, including the skin, or 25 percent adult daily value.
“The highest concentration of fiber in pears and in fruits is in the skin. The more ripe they are, generally, the sweeter it is.”
Replace cherries with POMEGRANATES
>> High vitamin K, regulates normal blood clotting and improves bone health; also a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A
>> Cut in half, place in water and collect seeds; add to fruit salads, leafy green salads, smoothies or yogurt
>> One-half cup of pomegranate seeds contains 14.3 micrograms of vitamin K, or 17.9 percent adult daily value, and 3.5 grams of fiber, 14 percent of adult daily value.
“Pomegranates are also a good source of carbohydrates, the number one food for your brain.”